Pseudocommando mass murderers: A big five personality profile using psycholinguistics

Madeline Kop, Paul Read, Ben Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The current study used artificial intelligence to create a personality profile of pseudocommandos based on language used in their writings. Pseudocommandos are mass murderers who are obsessed with weapons and meticulously plan their attack. The data source was the writings of 11 male pseudocommandos from the United States, of whom 7 committed suicide at the time of the attack. Manifestos and other writing samples by pseudocommandos were collected online in the public domain and analysed using IBM Watson Personality Insights. Results indicated pseudocommandos scored higher than the general population on Openness to experience, and lower than the general population on Extraversion and Agreeableness. No difference was found between pseudocommandos and the general population on Neuroticism or Conscientiousness. Facet-level analysis generally indicated a similar direction of results. This study lays foundations for a novel, post hoc approach to examining this previously unknowable group.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 27 Mar 2019


  • Pseudocommando
  • Mass murder
  • Personality

Cite this